diberry - 3:56 pm on Sep 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
RESPONSE: Google was built for users, not websites, and Google doesn’t “owe” traffic to any website any more than the Drudge Report “owes” links to the New York Times or the Washington Post. The fundamental openness of the Internet means that any site with a strong offering can find users.
It's not about OWING anyone traffic - of course they don't. It's about CONTROLLING the traffic in ways that have less nothing to do with providing results searchers want and everything to do with increasing Google's earnings.
Paid text links are a perfect example. They mess up the algo and/or take away from AdWords earnings, so Google banned them. This is despite the fact that you CAN have paid text links that are carefully chosen to provide value to your visitors. It was done properly for years before pagerank became the thing. BUT notice that even though Google banned them, they only PENALIZED (never banned!) webmasters who still used them. This was because if they had banned your site for linking as you see fit instead of how THEY see fit, that would be so far over the line of monopolistic practices that this whole mess could've started much earlier for them. But if they only penalized your site, well, they have a right to decide where you fall in the SERPs.
Monopoly suits are mainly about whether consumers are being hurt, not competitors. Consumers usually are hurt by lack of competition, so the question is: is Google squelching competition? I say yes in light of the testimony from Yelp.
I wonder if the reason Google hired thousands of people recently was just to show they provide jobs in a time when jobs are desperately needed? That was one of Schmidt's arguments - don't mess us up, we're providing JOBS, and you should let anyone who provides jobs do whatever they want.